Friday, 18 November 2016

Turkey Biryani Recipe | Vaankozhi Biryani | Layered Turkey Biryani | Hyderabadi Style Turkey Biryani | Dum Biryani Using Cooker

Years ago, be it Christmas or New year back at home grandma used to cook turkey for lunch. It was mostly turkey curry with plain rice or coconut rice and it was kinda tradition at home. After grandma passed away mom continues following her tradition. We've never thought of replacing that curry as it makes the day complete and also nostalgic. This year for the sake of blogging I wanted to put up turkey biryani as I had a few requests for it and I also found that it is a wonderful recipe to be shared. Turkey Biryani is a very special recipe and you won't be able to find it on menus except during the festive days. But they are too costly outside hence try making it at your homes and enjoy this Christmas. The explanation part may make it seem tedious but once you try your hands at it you'll find that it is not that tough to make. This is the Hyderabadi style with rich flavors and the layering part is always fun which you must try soon. For those who haven't tasted turkey it is similar to chicken meat but takes a little longer to get cooked yet tastes delicious!

turkey biryani


Serves 3 people
Total Preparation Time - 60 minutes (apart from the marination time) 
  1. Basmati Rice - 1.5 cup (275 grams) 
  2. Vaankozhi / Turkey - 300 grams 
  3. Onion - 2 (big ones) 
  4. Tomato - 1 
  5. Green chilli - 1 
  6. Red chilli powder - 4 teaspoons 
  7. Coriander powder - 4 teaspoons 
  8. Cumin powder - 3 teaspoons 
  9. Fennel seeds - 1.5 teaspoons 
  10. Pepper powder - 1 teaspoon 
  11. Coconut milk - 1 cup 
  12. Curd - 1/8 cup 
  13. Lemon - 1/2 of a lemon 
  14. Coriander - 1/2 cup (chopped)
  15. Mint leaves - 1/2 cup (chopped)
  16. Ginger Garlic paste - 3 teaspoons 
  17. Cashews - 5 
  18. Raisins - 1.5 teaspoons 
  19. Cloves - 3 
  20. Cardamom pods - 5 
  21. Cinnamon sticks - 3 small sticks about an inch tall 
  22. Star anise - 2 
  23. Salt - As required 
  24. Saffron - 2 pinches / orange food color - 1 pinch (If using saffron you'll need 2 teaspoons milk) 
  25. Oil / Ghee  - 5 tablespoons 
turkey biryani
turkey biryani


  • Wash turkey pieces well in water. Make sure the pieces aren't very big as they will take time to get cooked.
    Marinating the meat
  • Take a bowl and add, curd, red chilli powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, pepper powder, half of the coriander leaves, half of mint leaves, salt and slit green chillies. Add the turkey pieces and mix well. Keep marinated for 2 hours. (You can even leave it marinated in the refrigerator overnight)
    Cooking Rice
  • Wash and soak Basmati rice in water and set aside. Soak for 10-20 minutes. 
  • Then drain water and place a wide pan on flame. Pour enough water and add salt. Add one cardamom pod, one cinnamon stick, one clove and add the soaked basmati rice. Let it boil until the rice is half cooked (i.e the rice would still seem small but when you take a bite you should not feel the grittiness it should be cooked) Then drain all the water using a strainer and wash the rice immediately to stop further cooking. Keep the sieve or strainer with the cooked rice as it is until you make the gravy so all the water gets drained. Let the spices also stay with the rice. 
  • (Keep an eye on the rice as it will get cooked quicker than you'd think) Other Pre-Preparations
  • Slice onions, chop tomatoes into cubes, slit the green chilly. 
  • Soak saffron in warm milk and set aside. If using food color just mix it with 2 teaspoons of water. 
  • Roast the cashews in 2 teaspoons of ghee until golden then remove from flame and roast the raisins until they puff up, remove from flame. Now add the sliced onions (half of an onion) and saute until they turn dark brown. Remove from flame and keep aside.
    Making the meat gravy
  • Place a cooker on flame. Pour oil or ghee and wait until it heats up. 
  • The add fennel seeds,  remaining cloves, cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks, star anise, and saute for a few seconds then add, sliced onions, chopped tomatoes and stir well. 
  • Then add ginger garlic paste and saute until the raw smell leaves. 
  • Now add the marinated turkey pieces along with the masala and stir well. Cook on low flame for 5 to 7 minutes. 
  • Then add coconut milk and stir. Pour some more water until the turkey pieces gets immersed well. 
  • Stir and cover with the cooker lid. Place the whistle and pressure cook for 25 minutes on low flame. Then remove from flame.
  • After the pressure gets released, open the cooker and transfer the gravy to a bowl. The gravy should be a little watery and around 1.5 to 2 cups gravy should be there. (If you have excess gravy you can reduce it by placing on flame for a few minutes)
  •  Layering the Biryani
  • Now to the same cooker (you don't have to wash it) add a layer of rice first then sprinkle some coriander and mint leaves, pour 1/2 cup of gravy along with the pieces over it randomly. Then spread another layer of rice and pour 1/2 cup of gravy along with the pieces. do the same again and the the final layer should be rice. 

  • Over that finally spread a little curry alone (not the pieces), then sprinkle the coriander leaves, mint leaves, few roasted cashews, fried onions, pour saffron milk or the color water.
    Dum Process Using Cooker
  • Cover the cooker with lid and place the whistle. Place the cooker over a dosa pan and keep the dosa pan on flame. Turn the flame to low mode and cook for 25 minutes. This will be the dum process, the rice will get cooked tender soft and the flavors will also spread well. 
  • Then remove from flame and set aside until the pressure drops. Open the cooker after 10 minutes and gently fluff it up with a ladle, garnish with some more browned onions, fried cashews and raisins and serve hot with a spicy curry and some raita. 
turkey biryani

TIP 1: Make sure that the turkey pieces have got cooked well before the layering part. Some bony turkey pieces may take more than 25 minutes to get cooked so check after you prepare the gravy. And cook for more time if the pieces are not tender. 

TIP 2: Equal amount of meat and rice will make a perfect balanced biryani. So make sure to try the same with any kind of biryani. 

TIP 3: You can try any dum process that you are used to, I find this cooker method convenient. 

TIP 4: Make sure you add salt to both the rice and the gravy. Especially to rice as you can't salt it once it gets cooked. 

TIP 5: Cashews and raisins are the best part of this biryani and even the browned onions. They give a sweet touch to the biryani so do not skip it. I love frying the onions and cashews in butter as they taste so good. 

turkey biryani

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